Author Archive

Dark is the night – Dark Days documentary

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Dark Days is a fascinating documentary that won multiple awards a few years back.

Near Penn Station, next to the Amtrak tracks, squatters have been living for years. Marc Singer goes underground to live with them, and films this “family.” A dozen or so men and one woman talk about their lives: horrors of childhood, jail time, losing children, being coke-heads.

It’s now on Google video:

Twitter and as a digital sitting room?

Monday, November 10th, 2008

So you heard about that election thing the other day yeah? Disney won. Happily ever after.

From American Hell:
Twittering the election

I participated in Blogging the election at the Irish General Election with Suzy and Cian where we monitored the Interwebs and used Twitter to fire out results as they came in. Back then (last year) those on twitter listened more than they interacted but for the American Election last week, it was totally different. It ws a massive information stream, it was a source and it was a shared experience.

When CNN unveiled their holograms, Twitter exploded with commentary. Most of it hilarious and referencing Star Wars and Star Trek. People in so many corners of the world, not just Ireland were exchanging banter with each other about it. This is what some of the Irish said:

Twitter and holograms

The banter and back and forth and “retweeting” kept the momentum going. By retweeting, I mean people who were subbed to a few people would do chinese whispers style “pass it on” messages but because it is digital, the core message remained 100% intact. Here was one retweet for example:


Around 2:57 AM I asked:

How many here would be in bed were it not for the interactions about this election on Twitter? *raises hand*

And I got a load of people confirming my suspicions. I would probably have headed back to my hotel or at least have gone earlier if it wasn’t for so many people being there, sharing their experience of their moment:

Feedback from those on Twitter

And it isn’t just for the election either. People who still watch TV are sharing their experiences of it. Most notably people are watching The Apprentice on TV3 and commenting on it live on Twitter. The peer pressure from all the twittering about it got me to start watching it and shouting at the TV in the sitting room and on Twitter. The Times on Twitter and the election.

Of late too there’s been movement away or in-step with live-twittering with Simon McGarr championing live-blogging (using a special webapp) of TV shows such as The Apprentice (again), Questions and Answers and there was a massive crowd live-blogging the election. Cleverly Simon also snapped up where the live-blogging is now happening.

You may have heard of the term “social object” before but what seems to have happened without any influence at all from anywhere else is us Irish that were on Twitter or that blog have now started using technology applications to socialise events that may have been private due to geographic restraints. Tv watching is one of them. I actually think it also has gotten those who now live online to watch a bit more TV too. From a sociological perspective, this is fascinating. From a promotional/marketing/business perspective it is equally so. You have to wonder if one of the futures of successful TV is making TV watching into even more of a shared experience not just with those who are in the room with you but with those you are digitally connected to. People are already having boxset marathon weekends but this is something different and maybe more.

Maybe TV stations should allow people to create “chat rooms” where you can invite your friends or the world into and you can watch various TV programmes together. Actually I think some already do this. Google has previously mentioned search as a shared experience. Facebook is making our lives slightly shared too with the way we stream our lives there.

But with all of this chatter around events, is it like someone giving a running commentary as you kiss them? Should you shut up and just enjoy the moment?

Fluffy Links – Monday November 10th 2008

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Nooked now allow you to subscribe to Twitter feeds for bargains on Ryanair routes. Neato.

Win a cookbook over on

Fianna Fáil TD Mattie McGrath. Interesting character isn’t he?

The Japanese Film Festival.

in Cineworld Dublin on 15th and 16th November before travelling on to the Kino in Cork on 22nd and 23rd and reaching the Storm Cinema in Limerick on 26th and 27th….

There will be four films showing at the festival; two animated features – The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) and Mind Game (2004), and two live action – Hotel Hibiscus (2003) and Go (2001). Ranging from the whimsical to the positively head-spinning, these four titles take the measure of Japanese national cinema as it is today.

Via is a Bargain Alert: A Series of Unfortunate Events – 13 Books in a Box for €35.99.

Speaking of, they now have a 2008 Photography Year book for sale.

Irish Times Business blog briefly mentions Twitter.

Scary. Using just photos, scientists can make copies of your house/car keys.

The elements of a good speech, Obama style. Oddly this page doesn’t load from this link but if you go to the main page it does.

Girl Talk does the “I’m a PC” ads. With Microsoft and the way they destroy anyone when it comes to software patents, it seems ironic they’re paying this guy who works soley by sampling the works of others.

Via Paul. Just keep watching, keep at it:

Green Party TD Paul Gogarty cares

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Watch this first before reading down. Please.

Found via David Cochrane is coverage of the antics of Paul Gogarty by Miriam Lord:

Sen Fitzgerald approached the microphone and made a number of points, many questioning Minister for the Environment John Gormley’s views on incineration and the Green Party’s bona fides in opposing the Rathcoole project.

As she spoke, Gogo suddenly jumped to his feet and collapsed on the ground, flailing his arms and rolling about before lying still for a few minutes. Then he picked himself up and sat back down.

Ah now. It wasn’t like he was wearing a chicken suit. Though that’s maybe because he doesn’t like meat, animal meat.

Put it this way. If somebody asked me to cook a kitten in a microwave, the thought would cross my mind. But I’m an animal-loving vegetarian, so I wouldn’t do it.”

Dave goes on to mention on a press release from Fine Gael’s Brian (some of his best friends are of the coloured persuasion dontchaknow) Hayes attributing Paul’s spirited caring about local and national issues as being down to mental health issues:

Everyone knows Paul Gogarty is the original rebel without a clue but I’m seriously beginning to worry for his mental health as he continues to lead a double life.

That’s a bit unfair to to those that suffer mental health really. Paul just gives a shit, it seems. Maybe that’s why Fine Gael think he’s got something wrong in his brain.

Paul has promised a repeat. I hear it might be like this:

This is my second post about you Paul but you can probably guess I like Eamon more. 🙂

That SEO competition – How are they doing so far?

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Not going to mention the terms. Not going to link to the Google search for it:

SEO Search term

Here’s what it looks like as of Friday this week. Few weeks to go yet though:

SEO results

Thanks everyone, my iPhone is back

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Photo owned by JP Puerta (cc)

I may have mentioned previously that due to headbutting a wall at high speed my iPhone no longer worked. The screen was smashed to bits. Gordon decided to organise a whip around for me as a thanks for the Irish Web Awards and many people were too generous and put money into a paypal account for me.

Well this week I got my iPhone repaired by the very helpful people at FM Mobiles (thanks for the tip Cathal) in Camden Street (come back in an hour and it’ll be ready they said!) and so the money donated by Gordon and all the rest of the very nice people ensured that my iPhone is back and working. There was no way in hell that I’d get an iPhone from o2 with those terrible terms and conditions. I had considered one of the legit Italian iPhones but they’re bloody pricey.

It’s pretty sad to admit it but my reliance on the iPhone was staggering. I was constantly connected from waking to sleep with the digital world. Email, Twitter and all the rest. While the iPhone was lying on my desk awaiting repair I was using a Nokia N95 and what a frustrating experience it was to go from an iPhone to that. Too many buttons, way too many, even taking a picture was a pain in the hole. Setting the alarm on it was annoying too.

Apple might be right old fuckers for the price of the iPhone and allowing carriers to lock people into contracts for so long but they know how to make a product that becomes an extension of someone and doesn’t interfere with their natural movements. Hopefully the next iteration of Nokia phones respect that concept. I must go and try one of the new Blackberry’s though. I think they’re the second most hyped phone this year.

What you’ve just said

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Fun Clip:

what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.

Fluffy Links – Friday November 7th 2008

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Value Ireland now on their own domain. Yay. No more blogspot.

Suzy takes a bogus press release to task about 1 in 6 Irish people skipping work due to the elections. We didn’t do that for the General Election!

New blog (to me) Paddy in Buenos Aires.

Lee sent this on. Great idea. A site for showcasing Irish Web Designers.

Irish Rail, again. Great crowd aren’t they?

Fine Gael Cork have their own Sarah Palin? Love this photo from her gallery of Peter Barry afraid of being touched by Captain Boring.

I think GI is right. Harney might not last.

Via WillAC/DC in Excel.

Nice stats from the Irish Medical Times:

90.1 per cent of all Freedom of Information applications received by the Health Service Executive in 2007 were from patients. Out of about 4,000 requests in 2007, less than 4 per cent came from journalists.

Irish Times rechecks Leo “send them home” Varadkar.

Little Boots on Later with Jules
. Just her and a piano. Nice.

New Sigur Ros video – Við spilum endalaust


Whale – Hobo Humping Slobo Babe

47% of Irish Schools get their web connection via crappy Satellite

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

From the terrace 9
Photo owned by suvodeb (cc)

Where’s the upgrade path to 10Mb Internet there? It’s worse than that though. Only 27% of schools get broadband via a wired service. 26% via wireless. There is no easy way for those schools to get fibre, now is there? I’m glad Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan is thinking about the children and their broadband connection but it seems like he’s considering their situation and then that’s it.

PQ via Liz McManus:

To the Minister for Education and Science
To ask the Minister for Education and Science the number of schools in the broadband for schools initiative that have satellite internet, fibre, DSL and wireless; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Liz McManus. (Nominated by: Liz McManus).

Go to the Oireachtas Website if you want to find the full record, I’m not going to hurt my eyes and hands going through it for you.

Minister of State, Barry Andrews

Of the 3,905 local connectivity installations, 27%, or 1,051 schools have fixed
line services, 26% or 1,028 schools have wireless services and 47% or 1,826
schools have satellite services.
A further 72 schools have had broadband
access provided under the Hermes and Advanced Deployment programmes and are not
included in the 3,905 schools. The split of technology services across these
72 schools is 43 fixed line services, 25 wireless services and 4 satellite

Not great at al now is it? No mention of fibre but that might come under fixed-line. I know there are some schools connected to fibre.

Having regard to the usage levels observed by HEAnet, my Department has
procured additional bandwidth from its two satellite providers to improve the
broadband connection speeds for schools on this portion
of the Schools
Broadband Network. The situation continues to be monitored closely. In
addition, my Department has migrated schools to superior alternative
technologies, where feasible.

I’m unaware of any satellite systems that can increase their bandwidth to anything over 2Mb in this country due to our location on the edge of Europe.

My Department will shortly issue a Request for Tenders for the next round of
service. The priority for the new procurement process will be to ensure that
the broadband services to schools keep in line with national infrastructure
improvements. The RFT will seek tenders which at least maintain the existing
service that schools currently receive.
Having regard to the general
developments in broadband availability nationally, improved service offerings
are expected
to be received under the new tender process.

At least maintain the existing service that schools currently receive? Hello? This already sounds like a cop-out. You’ll read further down they talk about 100megs into schools and now they talk here about at least what the schools have now. For half that means crapalite.

My Department will also collaborate with the Department of Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources to pursue the Government objective of equipping
second-level schools with 100Mb per second
of broadband connectivity and
installing local area networks, as outlined in the Consultation Paper on Next
Generation Broadband.

Got kids in schools? Depressed yet?

Fluffy Links – Thursday November 6th 2008

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Cork, Ireland

Fountain surfing, photos by Phil.

Gordon is giving a talk called Take Control of your Website for SoHo Solo on November 12th.

Dear Green Party, your new web person? Alexia is spot on about what needs to be done.

Oh Ireland does have postcodes.

Half day from Microsoft about their new advertising products. On this Monday in Dublin. Register here.

Via Justin. Bank of Ireland loses more customer records, Data Protection Office says it’s fine really. How nice of them.

Love this blog title: Black Man In The White House Now Also Visible From Alaska

Enterprise Ireland is looking for feedback on their sites. Less Gerry McGovern pimpage please.

The poll was devised using Gerry McGovern’s unique Customer Carewords technique. McGovern is widely regarded as a worldwide authority on managing web content as a business asset. His Customer Carewords method enables users to tell web owners in precise, statistical terms why they visit their website.

You can bet that cost a few pennies. Come back in a few weeks and you’ll probably find out how much 🙂 The survey is wank. Please choose from the following mountain of choices…

Brilliant. Teenager starts her own Internship website for cheap!

Surviving the Phelps family.


Gore Vidal on the Beeb. Weird….